Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

On the Date of the Crucifixion

The date of the Crucifixion was undoubtedly April 3, A.D. 33. Here's why.

We know that St. John the Baptist's ministry started during the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius. Luke 3:1-3

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins...

Tiberius reigned from August 19, A.D. 14, which puts the start of St. John's ministry at either the year 28 or 29. Jesus Christ was baptized around a year after St. John started his work, which puts His baptism at around 29 or 30. Christ celebrated three Passovers before His Crucifixion, according to the Gospel of John (John 2:13-23; John 6:4; and John 11:55-12:1).

We know that there was an earthquake that happened while He was on the Cross. From the Geological Society of America (the GSA). Source:


AUSTIN, Steven A., Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH 45314,

Two thousand years ago the Dead Sea Basin was shaken by two earthquakes that left two widespread seismites within laminated Dead Sea sediment. The first earthquake (spring 31 B.C., Jericho fault, M~7.2) transformed adjacent Dead Sea laminated mud and aragonite into a persistent and distinctive intraclast breccia seismite in places greater than 1 m thick. The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus described the 31 B.C. earthquake as a significant social and economic event during King Herod's reign. A second seismite occurs within laminated mud and aragonite at 10 to 85 cm above the 31 B.C. seismite. Varve counting above the 31 B.C. datum indicates the second seismite can be assigned to 31 A.D. (+/- 5 years), but history specifies as 33 A.D. Superb mud laminae exposures are provided in two gullies at the southwest corner of the Dead Sea at Wadi Ze'elim fan delta where the 33 A.D. seismite outcrops 55 to 85 cm above the 31 B.C. intraclast breccia. The 33 A.D. seismite at Ze'elim is intraformationally folded, 8-cm-thick, sometimes brecciated, silicate mud and aragonite/gypsum laminae. Seismite facies progress from "linear waves" to "asymmetric billows" to "breccia" expressing transition to Kelvin-Helmholtz turbulence within the uppermost shearing laminae during shaking. Recumbent folds and imbricate faults are consistent with gravity collapse upon a broad arch structure during shaking. Folded seismite transitions northward within fan deltas to thicker intraclast breccia, suggesting an epicenter nearer Jerusalem. Matthew, the 1st-century synoptic Gospel author, reported two earthquakes in Jerusalem in 33 A.D. These are the Jerusalem earthquakes of April 3 at the crucifixion of Christ (Matt. 27:51), and April 5 at the resurrection of Christ (Matt. 28:2). Luke, a first century physician and historian, reported a smaller earthquake in the summer at the gathered assembly (Acts 4:31). The persistent 33 A.D. seismite indicates the biggest 33 A.D. earthquake was M~6.0. This biggest earthquake was likely April 3, 33 A.D. that startled city residents and caused moderate damage, especially to the western side of Temple Mount. Pivots of two, 20-m-high, metal doors of the Temple appear to have been damaged, and the 20-m-high curtain in front of the doors was torn, likely by displacement of the lintel of the Temple during the earthquake.

We also know that the sky darkened. NASA informs us that there was a lunar eclipse that lasted about 3 hours on April 3, A.D. 33 (source:

See also this pdf from NASA describing in further detail the lunar eclipse of April 3, A.D. 33 (Source:

We know that He died a few hours before the beginning of the Sabbath (which begins Friday after Sunset), and that it was within a day of Passover (the 14th day of Nisan), which means there'd have been a Full Moon. Those things come together twice: Friday April 7, A.D. 30, and Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. The earthquake evidence, the astronomical evidence, and the reign of Tiberius preclude the earlier date. Ergo, there is only one date on which the Crucifixion took place: Friday, April 3, A.D. 33.

If all of the above is accurate, the timeline of things might look like this:

March 25: The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel visits Our Lady, and she utters her fiat.

April 3: The Incarnation: After a novena of days, Christ becomes flesh in the virginal womb of His mother.

December 25: Christmas: Christ is born in Bethlehem 266 days after He was conceived. See this page on the date of Christmas.

April 3, 33: Good Friday: Thirty-three years after He became man in His mother's womb, Our Lord was crucified.